The nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants

June 8, 2018 by Scott L. Montgomery, The Conversation
NuScale Power aims to build the nation’s first advanced small modular reactor. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy

Until now, generating nuclear power has required massive facilities surrounded by acres of buildings, electrical infrastructure, roads, parking lots and more. The nuclear industry is trying to change that picture – by going small.

Efforts to build the nation's first "advanced small modular ," or SMR, in Idaho, are on track for it to become operational by the mid-2020s. The project took a crucial step forward when the company behind it, NuScale, secured an important security certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

But the first ones could be generating by 2020 in China, Argentina and Russia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The debate continues over whether this technology is worth pursuing, but the nuclear industry isn't waiting for a verdict. Nor, as an energy scholar, do I think it should. This new generation of smaller and more technologically advanced reactors offer many advantages, including an assembly-line approach to production, vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others.

How small is small?

Most small modular reactors now in the works range between 50 megawatts – roughly enough power for 60,000 modern U.S. homes – and 200 megawatts. And there are designs for even smaller "mini" or "micro-reactors" that generate as few as 4 megawatts.

In contrast, full-sized nuclear reactors built today will generate about 1,000-1,600 megawatts of electricity, although many built before 1990, including over half the 99 reactors now operating in the U.S., are smaller than this.

But small nuclear reactors aren't actually new. India has the most, with 18 reactors with capacity ranging between 90 and 220 megawatts, which were built between 1981 and 2011.

The U.S., Russia, China, India, France and the U.K. operate hundreds of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. Russia has dozens of nuclear-powered icebreakers cruising around the Arctic, and its first floating nuclear power plant has been completed and will be deployed in 2019 near the town of Pevek in East Siberia.

The Siberian plant will replace four 12-megawatt reactors the Soviets built in the 1970s to power a remote town and administrative center, as well as mining and oil drilling operations.

Even though the reactors will be small, they may operate at much bigger power plants with multiple reactors. NuScale, for example, wants to install 12 reactors at its initial Idaho site. Based on the company's latest projections, it will have a total capacity of 720 megawatts.

A global trend

Private and state-owned companies are seeking to build these small power plants in about a dozen countries so far, including the U.S. and the U.K.

France, which gets three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear energy, and Canada may soon join the fray.

This global interest in small modular reactors comes as more standard nuclear reactors are being decommissioned than are under construction.

Some advantages

Proponents of these advanced small modular reactors say they will be easier to build and more flexible in terms of where they can be located than the larger kind. The word "modular" refers to how they will be built in factory-like settings, ready for hauling either fully assembled or in easily connected parts by truck, rail or sea.

These reactors can potentially power rural towns, industrial plants, mountainous areas and military bases, as well as urban districts and ports. Small modular reactors may also prove handy for industrial uses.

Small modular reactors will differ from the smaller reactors already deployed because of their new technologies. These advances are intended to make it less likely or even impossible for them to melt down or explode, as happened during Japan's Fukushima disaster.

The power plants where these small reactors will be located will have added protections against sabotage and the theft of radioactive material. For example, they may be equipped with cooling systems that continue working even if no operators are present and all electric power is lost. In many cases, the entire reactor and steam-generating equipment will be below ground to safeguard these facilities during natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunamis that led three Fukushima Daiichi reactors to melt down.

Like renewable energy, nuclear power emits no carbon. And compared to wind and solar power, which are intermittent sources, or hydropower, which is affected by seasonal changes and droughts, it operates all the time and has a much smaller footprint.

As a result, small modular reactors could be paired with renewable sources as a substitute for coal-fired or natural gas plants. Yet they will probably have to compete with advanced energy storage systems for that market.

Concerns and costs

Whether these advantages materialize, obviously, remains to be seen once these reactors are deployed. Some experts are skeptical of the industry's promises and expectations.

Although small modular reactors are designed to produce less radioactive waste than standard, bigger reactors for the same amount of power, the issue of where to safely dispose of nuclear waste remains unresolved.

Small modular reactors face other challenges, some of their own making.

Strong interest in the potential global market has led many companies to propose their own individual reactor designs. In my opinion, there are already too many versions out there. Before long, a shakeout will occur.

And, especially in the U.S., there is currently no clarity regarding the length of time required for licensing new reactor designs lacking any commercial track record – creating a lot of regulatory uncertainty.

It's also unclear what small modular reactor-generated power will cost. That will probably remain the case for at least the next 10 to 15 years, until a few designs are actually built and operating.

Some experts foresee small modular reactors penciling out at levels that could be higher than for full-sized reactors which generally cost more to build and operate than other options, like natural gas, for the same amount of power. NuScale, however, predicts that its SMRs will be more competitive than that in terms of their cost.

And some observers fear that reactor owners might cut corners to reduce costs, compromising safety or security.

Although their costs are unclear and their advantages relative to other energy choices remain unproven, I believe these small reactors, as non-carbon sources, are needed to help resolve the energy challenges of our time. And the rest of the world seems ready to give them a try with or without the U.S.

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Mark Thomas
4.4 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2018
I believe these small reactors, as non-carbon sources, are needed to help resolve the energy challenges of our time.


I agree. We need nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, wind, solar, hydroelectric and possibly other forms of power generation like biomass. We need it all, and we need it now. What we don't need is more power generation from fossil fuels, especially if it is from the evil Koch Brothers.

https://www.rolli...20140924
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2018
vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others.

Any meltdown risk is too much.
And what about the proliferation of waste? Who is going to be responsible for it? Or do we leave these things dotted around the landscape after use and have the taxpayer pick up the tab for indefinite storage (as per usual)?

The location flexibility makes no sense as an argument to me. There is such a thing as a grid.

The power plants where these small reactors will be located will have added protections against sabotage and the theft of radioactive material.

When several hundred or thousand of these are around? How they pull THAT off I want to see. (Not that would-be-evil-doers couldn't just buy a few of those themselves and just get at the stuff that way directly)
Solon
3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2018
"Any meltdown risk is too much."

You worry too much. If there is a core catcher then a meltdown is no big deal.

"And what about the proliferation of waste?"

There is no such thing if it is recycled properly. The 'waste' is worth many times more than the original fuel. The dawning of the Atomic Age should have heralded the beginning of an age of energy surplus and the beginning of the end for the oil/coal barons.
The huge and expensive nuclear power plants are just cash cows for the construction industry, with its ties to political power, and the taxpayer will be paying for decommission and this 'waste' storage for many years. SMRs could be mass produced much more cheaply and set up where ever there is a need, reducing the need for expensive and vulnerable long distance transmission lines to the large, centralised stations.
It's al about corporate profit, not public needs.

greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2018
I see an odd contradiction in this article.
the first ones could be generating power by 2020 in China
unclear what small modular reactor-generated power will cost...that will probably remain the case for at least the next 10 to 15 years, until a few designs are actually built and operating


The big question for me is cost. Dealing with decommissioning will be interesting if they do ever become a reality. The cost will need to include the total cost of waste disposal, and decommissioning. The nuclear industry does not have a good record in terms of being open and honest. I do wish them luck - and if they can compete price wise with wind and solar - it will be good news for our world.
antialias_physorg
3.2 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2018
If there is a core catcher then a meltdown is no big deal.

There is no core catcher. Core catchers must be actively cooled. Guess what happens when one of these things melt down? Any kind of power for active cooling fails, too.

There is no such thing if it is recycled properly.

Because that has been working out oh so swell with the few big reactory we have - so this is going to work spectacularly well with hundreds/thousands of these owned by all kinds of people...Yeah...I can totally see that working...NOT.

Also note that insurance companies won't touch nuclear reactors. Not a single nuclear reactor in the world is insured against environmental damages - as opposed to all other kinds of powerplants...the real 'insurance policy' is - you guessed it - the taxpayer.
Know what a kWh would cost if these things were insured as they should be? A hell of a lot more than it does now - which is already quadrupel of wind and eight times of solar.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2018
AAP, as you appreciate, as much as we could make good use of a "Mr. Fusion," it hasn't been invented yet. So as a pre-fusion society facing serious global warming, we must weigh the disparate relative risks here. Consider it a lesser of evils choice if you must. It seems to me that Global Warming is likely to kill a lot more people than failure of a modern fission reactor. Besides, what if we never manage to get fusion to work? We will need nuclear fission.

Yes, I love the renewables too, but the fact they are intermittent means we need a gigantic amount of batteries for the entire planet or some other non-carbon emitting power source.
Cusco
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2018
The reason why recycling isn't working is completely political, not technical. It's prohibited by law for reasons that kind of, sort of, maybe, made sense in 1985. The fact that it's still prohibited is absurd. Most of Yucca Mountain would be utterly unnecessary if recycling were allowed.
Eikka
5 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2018
Any meltdown risk is too much.


That's like saying "any risk of a car crash is too much, therefore cars shouldn't be allowed".

Nirvana fallacy. Three mile island had a meltdown, Chernobyl had a meltdown. Do you see any difference between the two?

There is no core catcher. Core catchers must be actively cooled. Guess what happens when one of these things melt down? Any kind of power for active cooling fails, too.


The core catchers were added when the reactors were scaled up so big that they couldn't be self-containing in a meltdown accident. Guess what the point of making them smaller is?

Because that has been working out oh so swell with the few big reactory we have


Recycling works pretty well where it is actually allowed. The main problem is that people actively resist it.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2018
That's like saying "any risk of a car crash is too much, therefore cars shouldn't be allowed"
It's not the same. You surely have to agree on the difference between Chernobyl - and a car accident. i think we can engineer nukes to the point that the risk is 'contained.' We have plenty of nuclear subs etc. around - and for me - the engineering is to the point that we can co-exist. Just seems silly to make that analogy.
Eikka
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2018
It's not the same. You surely have to agree on the difference between Chernobyl - and a car accident.


The point flew a mile over your head.

A car crash ranges from a fender bender to a four-lane pileup on fire two miles deep in a tunnel. It would be completely unreasonable to categorically deny cars because there is a risk of a crash.

That was the analogy.
greenonions1
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2018
The point flew a mile over your head.
Not at all - and I still think it is a very poor analogy. Equating a car accident to Chernobyl - shows you have no idea of the scale of Chernobyl. https://www.theat.../559016/

I know I know - that is overly dramatic - but it still helps to get a sense of the scale of the disaster. A 30 Km exclusion zone - 32 years later - and you think it is a good analogy to a car accident.....
Anonym662145
4 / 5 (4) Jun 08, 2018
"It's not the same. You surely have to agree on the difference between Chernobyl - and a car accident."

The problem with this argument is that you assume that all nuclear reactors share similar risk as Chernobyl, when in reality none of the existing reactors on earth share similar risk as this particular reactor. Chernobyl is actually a terrible example to use when comparing nuclear, because this reactor was designed in a very particular way that is actually contradictory to conventional reactor design and nuclear engineering.

The fundamental design flaw in this reactor was that it purposefully operated with very high positive void coefficents, when in most cases you never want to operate a light water reactor with positive void coefficents much less high ones. In fact today most regulatory bodies forbid such designs including the IAEA.

In other words your example just doesn't exist in reality.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jun 08, 2018
Toshiba 4S might be a good bet for smaller rural requirements...
WillieWard
2.8 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2018
Any meltdown risk is too much.
"Even the worst nuclear accidents result in far fewer deaths than the normal operation of fossil fuel power plants."
Carbon-free nuclear energy is the only scalable way to stop Climate Change. Wind and solar are scalable in installed-capacity but a trillion-dollar fiasco at reducing emissions everywhere, intermittent renewables are just an expensive form of providing "greenwashing" for coal/oil/gas industries.
"The more you know about renewables, the less you like them. The more you know about nuclear, the more you like it. The only thing holding us back is ignorance, superstition and fear of the unknown."
Eikka
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2018
Not at all - and I still think it is a very poor analogy. Equating a car accident to Chernobyl - shows you have no idea of the scale of Chernobyl.


That's why I didn't. If you read up, I actually used Three Mile Island AND Chernobyl as the examples from two different ends of the spectrum.

But as per usual, you don't even read the argument before you go railing against it. The absolute magnitude of the Chernobyl accident is totally irrelevant to the point of the analogy - it's just saying "accidents come in different sizes".

The question is not about the risk of the accident, but the risk of the outcome of the accident. AA's argument was saying that no risk of accident is permissible, which is saying "no outcome is tolerable", even if the outcome is nothing but a broken powerplant.

greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
As usual you don't read - before railing against something. AA's argument was very clearly not
no risk of accident is permissible


Try reading again. AA said.

Any meltdown risk is too much.


That is a specific statement - regarding the risk of 'meltdown' - not a generalized statement - arguing that
no risk of accident is permissible
Pretty basic distinction there. Of course no one would argue that "no risk of accident of any kind is permissible." And of course the scale of devastation is significant - in evaluating the risk level we are willing to tolerate. And I am not railing against anything - just pointing out that it is not a good analogy - to compare a car accident - to a nuclear meltdown. Of course we know that there are different degrees of nuclear accident. When assessing risk - we look at worst case scenario. Car accidents don't cause 30 km exclusion zones - for 32 years and counting.....
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
Anonym
In other words your example just doesn't exist in reality
If you read my posts - you will see that I am an advocate for nuclear power - as long as it can be done cost effectively. I think that renewables are the better bet - due to cost. If we are serious about climate change mitigation - we probably need a 'throw everything we have against the problem approach' - which may include nukes - despite their higher cost. However - the debate is about the scale of risk - and it is stupid to compare the risk of a car accident - to the risk of a 'meltdown.' Pick Chernobyl - or pick Fukushima - or pick a hypothetical - the point remains the same.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
As usual you don't read - before railing against something. AA's argument was very clearly not
no risk of accident is permissible


Try reading again. AA said.

Any meltdown risk is too much.


That is a specific statement - regarding the risk of 'meltdown' - not a generalized statement - arguing that
no risk of accident is permissible
Pretty basic distinction there.


Now you're just mincing words. I was assuming we both know what exactly we're referring to when we say "accident" because we can both read what the original argument was.

The same argument applies whether we mean "accident" in a general sense, or "meltdown" in a particular sense, because again, the outcome of a meltdown accident is not necessarily Chernobyl. That's why I pointed out Three Mile Island, which was a meltdown accident, and resulted in pretty much no risk to the surrounding population. It was more or less a radioactive fart in the wind.
Eikka
5 / 5 (5) Jun 09, 2018
The general problem here is that every (potential) nuclear accident, meltdown or otherwise, is being treated as if it was a potential Chernobyl, which was a real outlier because it was literally built to fail.

Everything about Chernobyl was about as bad as it can be, all the way from an unstable reactor design to building the moderator out of combustible carbon that burned for days spewing radioactive ash in the wind.

The concept of "risk" is automatically assumed to be the worst possible thing, even where it is literally not possible, which is exactly like imagining the worst possible car crash and then arguing that all cars should be banned because there's a risk that cars collide.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
Now you're just mincing words
Sure im mincing words - cuz they're important. I can fully appreciate the argument - that the potential outcome of a meltdown - is so catastrophic - we should eliminate the risk completely - which is possible to do if we don't build any nukes. It does not matter if Chernobyl or Fukushima were outliers. The argument stands. I clearly (from my posts) don't subscribe to eliminating the risk. I believe we can reduce it to an acceptable level. But that does not address the argument. A car accident is not analogous to a meltdown - the possible outcomes are orders of magnitude different. Show me any car accident that has led to a 30 Km exclusion zone - and 116,000 people being evacuated.....
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
The concept of "risk" is automatically assumed to be the worst possible thing, even where it is literally not possible
If it is 'literally not possible' - then there is no 'risk.'
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2018
The concept of "risk" is automatically assumed to be the worst possible thing, even where it is literally not possible
If it is 'literally not possible' - then there is no 'risk.'


Again, you're mincing words. The worst possible outcome is in general, not in particular.

It does not matter if Chernobyl or Fukushima were outliers. The argument stands.


Of course it matters, because it's a false argument. The falsity of the argument is taking the worst possible risk in general, and arguing it's always possible or likely in the particular - which is like saying "all car accidents may be the worst car accident there ever was, so no car should be driven."

And that's patently ridiculous.

Show me any car accident that has led to a 30 Km exclusion zone - and 116,000 people being evacuated.....


That's a completely irrelevant demand. We're not comparing car accidents to nuclear accidents, but car accidents to car accidents, and nuclear to nuclear.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 09, 2018
For example, cars in the 50's didn't have seatbelts or folding steering columns, so in a crash the driver would fly against the steering wheel and get impaled by the steering column. That's a bad accident.

Today, cars have folding steering columns, seatbelts, and airbags.

The meltdown argument is basically taking cars from the 50's, pretending that this worst case scenario is still valid and likely to happen, and then saying cars are too dangerous. Well, sure, if you still drive a car from the 50's - it has no bearing on new cars where this problem has already been taken into consideration. You may still get slammed towards the steering wheel, but this time it doesn't kill you.

Analogously, you may still have a nuclear meltdown, but this time it doesn't pollute half the planet because nuclear powerplants aren't built like Cherobyl anymore.
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2018
In other words, the risk of the accident is still there, but the risk of the outcome isn't. That's why mixing up the two is making a false argument.

See what I mean, greenonions?
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2018
That's why mixing up the two is making a false argument
Well i'm not mixing anything up - or making any false arguments. It seems very simple to me. Making an analogy between a meltdown, and a car crash - is absurd. It is very reasonable to say - we want to eliminate the risk of a meltdown - as the POTENTIAL catastrophe makes it an unacceptable risk - no matter how tiny that risk may be. Thus AA was saying - no matter how small the risk (ie. 1 in 10 trillion) - it is still not acceptable. On the other hand - 1 in 10,000 risk of car accident may be acceptable - because the POTENTIAL outcome from the accident is orders of magnitude smaller (no car accident is going to cause a 30 Km exclusion zone etc. . Pretty simple there Eikka - stop making it harder.
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2018
Well i'm not mixing anything up - or making any false arguments.


Indeed. You just misunderstood the point to begin with.

Making an analogy between a meltdown, and a car crash - is absurd.


And nobody made one. You just misunderstood the point.

It is very reasonable to say - we want to eliminate the risk of a meltdown - as the POTENTIAL catastrophe makes it an unacceptable risk - no matter how tiny that risk may be.


No. That's just the unreasonable thing to say. Completely eliminating the risk of meltdown may not even be possible, and it's completely irrelevant to demand it if the outcomes can be satisfactorily managed.

And there you are again appealing to the POTENTIAL catastrophe, assuming the risk of a meltdown accident inherently means a catastrophe.

On the other hand - 1 in 10,000 risk of car accident may be acceptable - because the POTENTIAL outcome from the accident is orders of magnitude smaller


Oh, we can easily imagine one.
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2018
(no car accident is going to cause a 30 Km exclusion zone etc. . Pretty simple there Eikka - stop making it harder.


But what if there's a pileup of cars where there's a truck full of petrol, another truck full of liquid oxygen, and a third truck full of ammonium fertilizers, and a fourth truck full of some awful dioxides or other chemicals. BOOM. Everyone in a 30 km radius gets poisoned and the land becomes unusable for generations.

It would be an event much like the Bhopal disaster https://en.wikipe...disaster which was the worst industrial accident in the world, that killed and poisoned many more people than Chernobyl ever did. Nearly a million people were affected.

That's a tremendously unlikely possibility, but it MIGHT happen. Since there is no acceptable level of risk to be taken for such an event, we must conclude that automobiles are simply too dangerous and should not be built.

Or, shall we conclude that the argument is silly?
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2018
A single truck can carry enough poisonous material to destroy a city. Car accidents too can have serious consequences.

http://newsimg.bb..._466.gif

But this is still completely irrelevant, as it was never the argument to compare how bad a car accident is compared to a nuclear meltdown. Just to point out that assuming the worst regardless of the particulars is unreasonable.

That said, I do fear the nearby chemicals factory more than the nuclear plant. Exactly because of Bhopal
greenonions1
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2018
Or, shall we conclude that the argument is silly?
You go right ahead.

it was never the argument to compare how bad a car accident is compared to a nuclear meltdown

But that is exactly what you did - when you responded to this
Any meltdown risk is too much


That's like saying "any risk of a car crash is too much, therefore cars shouldn't be allowed


And I keep repeating over and over - that it is not like saying "any risk of a car crash is too much." It is different. The outcome of the event (car crash vs meltdown) - is orders of magnitude different.

BOOM. Everyone in a 30 km radius gets poisoned and the land becomes unusable for generations
And please give us one example where this has happened. I found this - http://abc13.com/...1332062/ 6 people killed, 178 injured, and I bet the highway was back open in 48 hours. Your turn.
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2018
"If you read my posts - you will see that I am an advocate for nuclear power - as long as it can be done cost effectively. I think that renewables are the better bet - due to cost."

1. When you are doing these cost comparisons what exactly are you doing? There are a variety of ways to estimate costs such as EROI, LCA, EPP, LCOE etc. each with their own favor. Additionally when you are comparing solar and wind to nuclear you have to add the cost of storage, which many estimates DO NOT DO such as LCOE.

When you take into consideration the amount of units, amount of time, reduction of GHG/yr loss (basically if takes you longer to convert to 100% renewable because you didn't want nuclear support youre going to utilize natural gas options, which extends emission of GHGs per year), net storage demanded for 100% renewable versus 70%-80% renewable 20-30% nuclear studies have shown that in fact the latter option is more cost effective.
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2018
"A car accident is not analogous to a meltdown - the possible outcomes are orders of magnitude different. Show me any car accident that has led to a 30 Km exclusion zone - and 116,000 people being evacuated"

2. Just, because one possible outcome has occurred does not mean that this outcome is replicable in all other reactors. That was my original point. Its a poor argument to claim that nuclear has exceptional risk, because Chernobyl occurred and that is one example. However, that specific reactor was designed in such a way that it has variables that are non-existent in reactors today. It is literally ILLEGAL to operate a light water reactor with positive void coefficients in the USA by the NRC.

Therefore it is impossible to place US reactors with any probability of a Chernobyl accident.

gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Jun 09, 2018
They need Eikka at Fukushima and WIPP. He can tell them what they are doing wrong.

But when someone else says "Therefore it is impossible to place US reactors with any probability of a Chernobyl accident.", one wonders where he was when Fukushima melted down THREE reactors!!
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2018
"I can fully appreciate the argument - that the potential outcome of a meltdown - is so catastrophic - we should eliminate the risk completely - which is possible to do if we don't build any nukes."

3. Another major issue is that you have been led to believe that a meltdown inherently means major catastrophe. If you look at accident data of Fukushima from supplied reports by the IAEA you will find that the meltdowns occurred prior to the contamination.

A meltdown is simply the event in which solid nuclear fuel melts due to increased heat. Notice how I never said anything about an explosion or massive contamination right? This is because a meltdown does not inherently mean major contamination. It can if the situation is not rectified in a quick enough manner. However, it is interesting to note that the cause of contamination from Fukushima was not directly caused by the meltdown or nuclear reactions.

As pressure and heat built up in the reactor following the meltdown...
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2018
... the operators released some radioactive material through venting lines to the reactor chimney. In the mix of materials released from the reactor core included excess hydrogen (which came from chemical reactions of zirconium cladding reacting over time with water coolant). Hydrogen has a tendency of being difficult to contain, an under increased pressure this material leaked from venting lines into the containment building, where it reacted with oxygen causing an exothermic reaction or in other words an explosion releasing larger amounts of radioactive materials.

Notice what is not in this explanation- decay heat, pressure rupture, meltdown etc.
Anonym662145
2.8 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2018
"When assessing risk - we look at worst case scenario."

Risk assessment is not done in such a way. When you assess risk you take into consideration all existing variables. You don't just assume equal risk because some reactor type halfway around the world has nuclear in its name. You cant assume Chernobyl risk for all reactors, when all reactors are designed extremely different.

You cant assume Fukushima risk for all reactors, because not all reactors have equal or similar risk to earthquakes and tsunamis. What you are doing right now, is similar to what the State of California did to disqualify Diablo Canyon, even though the:

- soil conditions
- seismic risk
- elevation
- reactor type
- structural grade,
- backup coolant systems and
-containment structure

Are all completely different in Diablo Canyon.
Anonym662145
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 09, 2018
"one wonders where he was when Fukushima melted down THREE reactors!!"

Where were you gkam? You are living in a very different world, because in fact Fukushima did not experience similar events as Chernobyl. Yes there was a meltdown and there was a release, but the events that transpired were completely different. Last time I checked Kiev has never been hit by a tsunami in recorded history.
gkam
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2018
"Are all completely different in Diablo Canyon.

Do you assume they do not know that? Really??
No Tsunami for PL-1 or Fermi 1, either. Why do you soft-pedal the terrible dangers of nuclear power? We cannot afford the units, the dangers, the cost of having armed guards protecting the nasty waste for 240,000 years!

And your point of different configurations just goes to show that all of the designs are dangerous!!
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2018
Another major issue is that you have been led to believe that a meltdown inherently means major catastrophe
Not at all - I believe that a meltdown is an event with potentially catastrophic consequences. I believe that our engineering is such that we can reduce the risk of a meltdown to an acceptable level. Plenty of examples of countries that have been running large numbers of nukes for many years - with good safety records. All I am referring to in this discussion - is the false argument - of comparing a meltdown, to a car accident. I am simply saying that I understand the German perspective - of wanting to rid their society of nukes - due to the POTENTIAL of a catastrophic event. It is quite a simple point - and one that Eikka seems determined to just keep obfuscating about.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2018
anonym
When you are doing these cost comparisons what exactly are you doing?
I am not doing anything. I am listening to the experts. For example - https://explorist...-energy/

I think I have a pretty solid understanding of the whole intermittency/storage/integration issue. Willie Ward and other nuke acolytes constantly bring the subject up - and it does not matter how many times you address it - rinse and repeat... As you will see if you read my posts - I agree with you that nukes plus renewables is the best way to go to decarbonize fast. I don't understand it - no one listens to me.... :-)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2018
These are field testing of offworld prototypes. There may be testing to failure in order to develop safety protocols and remediation techniques in controlled and accessible environments.

Dont say I didn't warn you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2018
When you are doing these cost comparisons what exactly are you doing
This has nothing to do with profit or sustainability. It is about developing an essential technology for use in colonizing the solar system.
skystare
3 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2018
Thorium salt reactors have the clear potential to inexpensively avoid all these safety risks and, as well, produce just 1/20th of 1% of the hot waste.
gkam
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2018
"Thorium salt reactors have the clear potential to inexpensively avoid,. . . . "

I have heard those promises for most of my 74 years.
We cannot afford them.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2018
Notice how CleanTechnica and other anti-nuclear faux-green websites are biased, dishonest and divorced from reality.
Faux-greens:
"Britain's Wind Farms Beat Out Nuclear For First Time Ever" - May 17, 2018
https://cleantech...me-ever/
Reality:
"Wind Drought in Britain Leaves Turbines at a Standstill" - June 5, 2018
https://www.bloom...andstill
"Britain Has Gone Nine Days Without Wind Power"
https://www.bloom...or-weeks
Without natural gas(methane worse than CO₂), and carbon-free nuclear, British people would be freezing in the dark:
https://uploads.d...f16a.jpg
https://uploads.d...8820.jpg
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2018
Thorium salt reactors have the clear potential to inexpensively avoid all these safety risks and, as well, produce just 1/20th of 1% of the hot waste.

Let's take this from a practicality standpoint. Thorium is still in the prototype stage. The only country that is really optimistic about this is India (with copious thorium reserves that's not surprising) - and they are aiming for 30% electricity from Thorium reactors by 2050.

Now let's let that sink in: The most bullish country on Thorium reactors is aiming for 30% by a time when the whole world could be on wind and solar for 100%.
And those 30% only if everything pans out perfectly (like nuclear never has had any kind of delays, right?)
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2018
...the whole world could be on wind and solar for 100%...
Some people prefer to believe in their own lies like animals that eat their own feces.
https://uploads.d...8820.jpg
Notice UK / Scotland with almost no wind for almost two weeks. Intermittent renewables are failing miserably at reducing emissions everywhere even after trillions of dollars spent worldwide, e.g.Germany, Denmark, South Australia, California, Minnesota, etc., and have made the electricity prices to go through the roof.
"Electricity prices in wind-heavy Texas to skyrocket this summer" - June 7, 2018
https://www.houst...5766.php
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 10, 2018
...nuclear never has had any kind of delays...
"You've heard that old-school enviro org mantra: "Can't build nuclear energy fast enough to affect climate change soon enough" ? Seems China wasn't listening ..."
China Nuclear electricity generation in TWh:
2010 71
2011 83
2012 93
2013 105
2014 124
2015 161
2016 198
2017 233
https://pbs.twimg...wpzl.jpg
https://jmkorhone...uilt.png
https://pbs.twimg...Uh8B.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...mIe4.png
https://actinidea...info.png
http://www.tandfo..._oc.jpeg
https://uploads.d...bfe4.jpg
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2018
That's their mistake, Willie.

Not ours.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2018
"WWF says we have no alternative to gas!"
"WWF are now only realizing that back up of wind turbines with lithium batteries is horrendously expensive!"
https://pbs.twimg...ShGx.jpg
"Battery storage reqd to convert Germany's 2013 solar generation to baseload: $800 billion!"
http://euanmearns...storage/
https://pbs.twimg...NWgj.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...YSQ0.jpg
"By 2040 the IEA projects that solar panels / wind turbines will supply 3.6% of global energy. Fine. Let's even round it up to 4%. Could we now focus on the 96%???"
https://pbs.twimg...Py1i.jpg
"Coal Plants built/shut poor data - better focus MW built"
"Retired inefficient coal plants by MW worldwide 2006-2017 at Jan 2018 =239,019MW"
"New high efficiency larger capacity coal plants built same period =996,959MW"
"Shows 75% increase new Coal Plant MW"
https://endcoal.o...odology/
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2018
+gkam "No Tsunami for PL-1 or Fermi 1, either. Why do you soft-pedal the terrible dangers of nuclear power?"

1. Fermi 1 suffered a partial meltdown that resulted in no excessive radioactive release. How did you possibly think this would be comparable to a Level 7 accident like Fukushima?

2. There are risks of nuclear power, but first we have to gain a basic understanding of nuclear physics and materials to understand these risks. Unfortunately people are too busy freaking out about wastes with significant decay rates, even though this would indicate low radioactivity. What this tells me is that a lot of people do not understand the basics of nuclear physics.

Anonym662145
3 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2018
+gkam "We cannot afford the units, the dangers, the cost of having armed guards protecting the nasty waste for 240,000 years!"

Ok then how about you don't have armed guards... The largest disincentive for stealing plutonium waste from nuclear reactors is not the armed security. Here are some key reasons this doesn't occur:

1. You either have to somehow remove fuel rods from a pool that is 40ft in depth or remove dry fuel casks. Either way the fuel rods can be in excess of 10' and weigh over a ton. Typically they are placed with a crane in a fuel pool. Do you know how to operate this equipment?

2. To steal the material you have to come in direct contact with deadly amounts of radiation if you are stealing waste. Even if you managed to obtain the material with nobody noticing you would likely be dead within a couple of days.

Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2018
"We cannot afford the units, the dangers, the cost of having armed guards protecting the nasty waste for 240,000 years!"

3. Probably the most interesting problem- If you want Plutonium 239 specifically its going to be quite difficult and take a very long time. Nuclear waste is not stored in crates by single isotopes. Nuclear waste is made up of hundreds of different isotopes. In order to access the specific plutonium 239 you are referring to would require a reprocessing facility.

So now not only do you have to somehow break into a facility that is designed to not let things in, and steal storage devices that are heavier than person or team can lift, and would also most likely kill you, but now you also have to somehow break into a federal military facility with your stolen radioactive waste and miraculously understand how to operate the extremely complex machinery. Oh and btw you would probably be dead long before the reprocessing finished.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2018
You keep on mentioning how the nasty stuff kills. What kind of society will we have in a thousand years? You have no idea of the situations these stupefyingly-deadly materials will be in two thousand years, or even fifty. Why are we doing this to every human being who follows us?
Have we no sense, no Humanity?
jonesdave
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2018
"WWF says we have no alternative to gas!"
"WWF are now only realizing that back up of wind turbines with lithium batteries is horrendously expensive!"
https://pbs.twimg...ShGx.jpg


Oh jeez, we have another tosser who wants us to do.....what, exactly, tosser?
Far too many f***wits on this place. Seriously. None of whom appear to understand science. Eh,Willie, you eejit?
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2018
"WWF says we have no alternative to gas!"
Sorry if reality hurts you.
"13.6% of world energy comes from renewable sources, the vast majority—72.8%—is just people in developing countries burning wood, charcoal, and dung for energy. That's right: feces is a more important energy source than wind power."
https://nationale...-energy/

Unlike Germany, China is on the right way in the fight against Climate Change.
"China's...Solar...Cut Expected Capacity by 20 Gigawatts" - June 06, 2018
https://www.green...igawatts
"China is ordering more Russian reactors - starting a new nuclear powerplant at Xudaobao and developing Tianwan with reactors 7 & 8, also support for China's nuclear reactor for the moon"-Jun 8
http://www.world-...802.html
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2018
Far too many f***wits on this place. Seriously. None of whom appear to understand science
Science is mostly about looking stuff up. Willie is pretty good at looking stuff up.

You look anything up lately jd? Or you just prefer throwing shitbombs around as if it's a valid way to make a point?
gkam
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2018
"Science is mostly about looking stuff up. "

No, science is about UNDERSTANDING what you "look up".

It is about assessing the validity of what you "look up".
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2018
"Science is mostly about looking stuff up. "

No, science is about UNDERSTANDING what you "look up".

It is about assessing the validity of what you "look up".
Well in georgies case, science is about MAKING stuff up.

Isnt that right georgie?
greenonions1
5 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
Some people prefer to believe in their own lies like animals that eat their own feces
That comment about sums up the nature of Willie Ward's contribution. Yes Otto - Willie is good at looking things up. He looks to Breitbart, the Daily Mail, and other notably dependable sources of information. I think gkam is correct - in pointing out the importance of understanding information - as being more important than just producing information. Also notice the use of this term
like animals that eat their own feces
So you couple the interesting trend of looking at only one side of an issue in order to support your religious like bias, along with the need to use that kind of hate - and you don't really get a very intelligent conversation - just a need to scream as loud as you can...
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
...in order to support your religious like bias...
"German energy minister attacks EU renewable energy target as "unachievable" & says even with high cost of €25 billion/year, Germany will only get 15% of its overall energy from renewables by 2030" - Jun 12, 2018
https://www.eurac...bitions/
...looking at only one side...
...kind of hate...
NRDC is joining the "Light side of the Force" embracing carbon-free nuclear energy in order to really protect the environment, birds and bats, natural landscapes and wildlife habits, and to definitively stop the Climate Change.
"NRDC celebrating that AZ can achieve a 50% renewables standard without closing its nuclear power plant, which seems at odds with their claim that intermittent wind/solar is incompatible with Diablo Canyon in CA…but, like, inconsistent in a good way."
https://www.nrdc....n-50-rps
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2018
like animals that eat their own feces
"Greenies get quite upset when you tell them that renewables are unreliable, environmentally destructive, stupidly expensive, intermittent, and pointless"
https://pbs.twimg...WrDQ.jpg
"The entire renewables industry is an act of faith. The ONLY reason it can survive is through subsidies. And those subsidies can ONLY continue if renewables true believers can persuade enough gullible people to accept being fleeced"
https://pbs.twimg...QYZp.jpg
Nuclear is expensive and wind/solar is cheap and replaces fossil fuels, they say, and could power the whole world.
"France gets >75% of its electricity from nuclear reactors. One of the cleanest grids in the world. €0.18/kWh Germany has windmills and coal. €0.30/kWh"
https://www.stati...-france/
https://uploads.d...8820.jpg
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2018
From Willies article
Luxembourg and Spain, which spoke before Germany at the Council meeting, both supported the European Parliament's call for higher targets on renewables and energy efficiency, backing a 35% objective for both. The Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Portugal were also among those calling for higher targets on renewables and energy efficiency than those currently on the table
So you see the cherry picking.

The bigger point for me - is that when you resort to name calling like this
like animals that eat their own feces
- you show the world that you are nothing more than an uninformed bully.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2018
Greenies get quite upset when you tell them that renewables are unreliable, environmentally destructive, stupidly expensive, intermittent, and pointless
Of course people get upset when you lie to them. People like myself are pretty passionate about progress, and creating a better world - and it is very distressing to see how much hate, and dishonesty there is from the religious folks on the right. The world is changing fast - and we see evidence of the transition to a better energy system - on a daily basis. Here is an example from today - https://renewecon...n-27507/

So what do you expect - when you lie - and hurl horrible insults at people - instead of having an informed understanding of a highly complex subject?
Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
gkam "You keep on mentioning how the nasty stuff kills. What kind of society will we have in a thousand years? You have no idea of the situations these stupefyingly-deadly materials will be in two thousand years, or even fifty. Why are we doing this to every human being who follows us?
Have we no sense, no Humanity?"

Yes I said that fuel rods contain massive amounts of radioactivity, however you are not understanding the difference of context. Fuel rods are massively radioactive, because they contain a lot of material and significant amount of highly radioactive isotopes- that is isotopes with low decay rates- no the isotopes that last for thousands of years. The video below may help you understand how the radioactivity of a fuel rod changes over time in relation to the high volume of radioactive waste that exists within it.
https://www.youtu...p;t=808s

What I encourage you to do is spend some quality time understanding radioactivity.
Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
+greenonions1 "The world is changing fast - and we see evidence of the transition to a better energy system - on a daily basis. So what do you expect - when you lie - and hurl horrible insults at people - instead of having an informed understanding of a highly complex subject?"

The feeling you have when people make uninformed discussions about renewables is the same feeling that multiple people on this thread have about those who make uniformed comments about nuclear. I would extend this feeling to also include renewable supporters who do not truly understand the scale of transition they are contemplating.

Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
+greenoinions In your article the author claims "This past week has seen several landmark developments and announcements that signal that the pace of the energy transition is gathering speed, with huge implications across the board for consumers (mostly good) and incumbent utilities (mostly not so good)."

Yet, multiple studies have shown that our current transition is not even remotely fast enough...

https://www.techn...-system/

http://www.csap.c...essment/

https://onlinelib.../wcc.324

https://www.ipcc....kers.pdf

Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2018
+greenonions Furthermore as much as you feel disdaign for those who are not swayed by the theory of full renewability there are multiple studies which find that this model is not cost competitive, logistically competitive or practical to pursue for many countries.

https://www.techn...-energy/

http://pubs.rsc.o...Abstract

https://www.scien...13006291

I can provide more sources if you would like, but while I encourage you to discover more scientific sources it should be noted that many of these come from published papers or more complex articles.
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2018
Anonym
I would extend this feeling to also include renewable supporters who do not truly understand the scale of transition they are contemplating
I agree with you. I think I have a decent understanding of the scale of the systems - and suspect we agree that the transition is not happening nearly fast enough. I was at a meeting today of climate specialists - who run projections on U.S. temps - based on different emissions scenarios. The higher emissions scenarios do not look good for states like mine (Oklahoma) by mid century. If I could flip a switch - I would initiate a pedal to the metal program - encompassing every low carbon source we can get our hands on. The cost would be high... Yes anonym I have done a lot of internet reading on the studies regarding the feasibility of renewables. There are other studies that find 100% renewables feasible. Much depends on the speed of transition. My disdain is towards liars like Willie - who pollute the conversation.
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2018
Anonym - one other quick point. If you follow the situation with renewables - you know that the cost of power from wind and solar continues to fall. We are now consistently looking at around 3 cents Kwh for utility scale projects - some even around 2 cents - https://renewecon...r-95208/

Obviously that graph has to flatten out pretty soon - but the industry tells us it should keep going for a while. Hinkley Point - which is a project of EDF (probably the most experienced nuclear company in the world) - has a strike point of 12 cents Kwh - and if built - would not come on line until 2025 or later. So if we want to talk about cost - it would surely seem that we could build a lot of storage and transmission for that 9 cents kwh difference. A lot of the research does seem to me by people who are setting out to prove a point - and does not take in to consideration the realities of the rapid drop in the cost of solar.
gkam
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2018
"What I encourage you to do is spend some quality time understanding radioactivity. "

I understand the changes in fuel rod composition as they burn their Uranium, the nasty actinides and long-term killers. I know Unit Three at Fukushima was burning MOX, and we probably had a low grade nuclear explosion.

I helped do studies on GE Mark I & II BWR Safety Relief Valves and their pressure spike problems.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2018
I helped do studies on GE Mark I & II BWR Safety Relief Valves and their pressure spike problems
Wasnt that another one of those 10-15 jobs you lost because of incompetence?

If you hadn't lied yourself into all those jobs you weren't qualified to do, perhaps you could have found some good long-term employment, and your wife wouldn't have to be paying for all that EV/PV crap you dont need.

But then getting those jobs was far more important than doing them eh? Not lying is a choice that psychopaths rarely make.
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2018
The Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Portugal were also among those calling for higher targets on renewables...
It's quite simple: more intermittent renewables = more coal/oil/gas and less carbon-free nuclear energy, a good deal for the fossil fuel lobbyists travestied as environmentalists.
we see evidence of the transition to a better energy system
According to eco-nuts: coal/oil/gas "greenwashed" by intermittent renewables is a better energy system.
...the cost of power from wind and solar continues to fall...3 cents
They say "wind and solar ... 3 cents Kwh ... 2 cents" but never say that "batteries not included".
"Battery storage needed to convert solar generation equal to a year of Hinkley nuclear generation to baseload: $700 billion, about 28 times the ~$25 billion cost of the Hinkley plant."
http://euanmearns...storage/
"Battery storage reqd to convert Germany's 2013 solar generation to baseload: $800 billion!"
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2018
Claiming solar/wind is cheap, hiding the fact "batteries not included", it's the same as selling an electric car cheaper than a conventional one, without batteries, where the batteries is one of most expensive components of the car, and dishonestly not informing the innocent buyer.
"New York's Clean Energy Programs: The High Cost of Symbolic Environmentalism"
"...would require installing at least 200,000 MW of battery storage to compensate for wind and solar's inherent intermittency."
https://www.manha...565.html
"Energy storage ... increases carbon emissions."
https://www.vox.c...missions

"Even Vesta's Offshore Wind Division Founding Chairman compares to offshore wind turbines to an "old crappy car"."
https://pbs.twimg...D9UO.jpg
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2018
it's the same as selling an electric car cheaper than a conventional one, without batteries
No it is not. We could give you many examples of how renewables are now beating out conventional generation - even with storage. Here is just one- https://renewecon...n-27507/
Corporate Australia... turning to solar, and now storage, to slash their bills


Why don't you just stick to using horrible insults calling people who know more than you "animals who eat their own feces" - seems you know more about that kind of subject.
gkam
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2018
Outgrow your petty vandalism, otto.

Your secret inadequacy is no longer news.
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2018
GE is looking at selling it's gas turbine unit - due to
the whole industry has significantly been underestimating the rise of renewable energy
The facts -
renewables (excluding large hydro) accounted for 157 gigawatts of electricity capacity additions last year...The global gas power market actually lost 12 gigawatts of net capacity
The renewables train keeps building steam - hopefully it will pick up speed...

From - https://www.green....MztplRE
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2018
No it is not. We could give you many examples of how renewables are now beating out conventional generation - even with storage. Here is just one- https://renewecon...n-27507/
CleanTechnica and RenewEconomy are not reliable sources.
renewables (excluding large hydro) accounted for 157 gigawatts of electricity capacity additions last year
capacity ≠ production
"Carbon Emissions Rose in 2017 Despite Record Solar & Wind -- More Proof They Can't Save The Climate" - Jun 13, 2018
https://www.forbe...climate/
"According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), public and private actors spent $1.1 trillion on solar and over $900 billion on wind between 2007 and 2016..." while carbon emissions continue to climb?!?
gkam
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2018
Oh, my, . . another nice day, another bunch of kWh sent into the line for our neighbors to use. We will take them back out tonight for power to run the house and charge two electric vehicles.
How much do you spend in gasoline each year? Oil changes? Tune-ups? Transmission work? Emissions systems? Gassing up?

In my world, Willie, we do not have to do any of that.

It is called the future. We know it as California.

Wanna buy our last two nukes?
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2018
Oh, my, . . another nice day, another bunch of kWh sent into the line for our neighbors to use. We will take them back out tonight for power to run the house and charge two electric vehicles...
In my world ... It is called the future. We know it as California.
It's called sociopathy, where sociopaths lie to themselves, believe in their own lies, like animals that eat their own excrement.
Reality:
"Recent nuclear plant closures in places ranging from Germany and Japan to Vermont and California demonstrate that when nuclear plants close, their electrical output is replaced almost entirely by electricity from fossil fuels, not renewables like solar and wind."
https://www.forbe...ments/3/
"California ... greenhouse emissions creeping up"
https://grist.org...ping-up/
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2018
"The overall share of fossil fuels in global energy demand in 2017 remained at 81%, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades despite strong growth in renewables."
"The idea that wind and solar power can power advanced civilizations is ludicrious - but people have been making the claim for decades now. This is not new. It failed then and it will fail now, for the same reasons: storage is an insurmountable obstacle"

Greenies are acting as sociopaths:
"groups like the Sierra Club use their millions to continue peddling the myth that the United States can run its entire economy solely on solar and wind energy, despite numerous analyses that have demolished that notion. Even worse, Sierra Clubbers are ignoring the landscape- and seascape-destroying energy sprawl — plus the huge number of bird and bat kills — that would accompany an attempt to rely on renewables alone"
https://nypost.co...r-power/
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2018
We have a couple of Westinghouse PWR's for sale here, Willie.
How many do you want?
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2018
Willie
despite numerous analyses that have demolished that notion
And plenty of analysis that says the opposite - so it depends if you are a glass half empty kind of guy - who goes around calling people who disagree with him "animals who eat their own feces" - cuz you know - he doesn't know what he is talking about - so has to resort to being horrible, and hateful.

http://www.iflsci...gy-2050/
greenonions1
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 16, 2018
Willlie
public and private actors spent $1.1 trillion on solar and over $900 billion on wind between 2007 and 2016..." while carbon emissions continue to climb
And how many trillion have we spent on nuclear power? You have to include the cost of Chernobyl, Fukushima, all the other nuclear accidents, etc. etc. etc. And now renewables produce more electricity than nukes - so your argument has to also be applied to nukes? We are in early days - getting set to really reap the rewards of our investment in renewables. Hinkley Point is the poster child for Nukes = 12 cents a Kwh - solar around 2 cents Kwh and falling. Wow - that is hard math to do.
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2018
...plenty of analysis that says the opposite...
All you have is theoretical analysis/studies, nothing in practice, even in small scale.
Hinkley Point...
...solar around 2 cents Kwh and falling...
"Battery storage needed to convert solar generation equal to a year of Hinkley nuclear generation to baseload: $700 billion, about 28 times the ~$25 billion cost of the Hinkley plant."

Unlike wind/solar, carbon-free nuclear has really decarbonized the grids.
"To put this roughly $2 trillion in investment in solar and wind during the past 10 years in perspective, it represents an amount of similar magnitude to the global investment in nuclear over the past 54 years, which totals about $1.8 trillion."
https://www.forbe...climate/
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2018
And now renewables produce more electricity than nukes...
Indeed, renewable cultists believe in their own lies like beasts that eat their own excrement.
Reality:
"13.6% of world energy comes from renewable sources, the vast majority—72.8%—is just people in developing countries burning wood, charcoal, and dung for energy. That's right: feces is a more important energy source than wind power."
https://nationale...-energy/

"By 2040 the IEA projects that solar panels / wind turbines will supply 3.6% of global energy. Fine. Let's even round it up to 4%. Could we now focus on the 96%??? Thanks!"
"The IEA estimates we'll need to pay $3 trillion over the next 25 years to support uncompetitive solar and wind."
"The IEA says that the world has already developed ~1/2 of its hydroelectric potential. And since that only services ~6% of total CURRENT energy demand"
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2018
Willie
renewable cultists believe in their own lies like beasts that eat their own excrement.
Reality
No willie - we know facts. https://blogs.stl...ce-2017/

So as you can see - you don't know facts. My statement was
renewables produce more electricity than nukes...
And you see from the chart - renewables do indeed produce more ELECTRICITY than nukes.

Could we now focus on the 96%???
Yes let's - what'ss your plan for ships, planes, trucks, cars, gas heat, industrial heat etc?

Smart people like Musk are building electric cars/trucks, solar panels and storage technologies. What are you doing - besides calling people who "animals who eat their own feces?" You are a sorry excuse for a shill for one industry Willie. Show us a cost curve on nukes for the past 50 years Willie. I'll show 40 years of solar https://commons.w...1977.svg
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2018
...we know facts...
Trillions of dollars spent over decades and they say: "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day".
Notice the progress:
"In 1998, coal represented 38% of global power generation. In 2017, it represented ... 38% of global power generation."
https://www.vox.c...e-change
Smart people like Musk are building electric cars/trucks, solar panels and storage technologies.
Elon Musk: The Savior.
http://i0.kym-cdn.../ec9.png
I'll show 40 years of solar...
"batteries not included"
Claiming solar/wind is cheap, hiding the fact "batteries not included", it's the same as selling an electric car cheaper than a conventional one, without batteries, where the batteries is one of most expensive components of the car, and dishonestly not informing the innocent buyer.
https://pbs.twimg...63Yg.jpg
granville583762
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2018
Nuclear - Clean, Green and Mean
This puts countries like Germany in a pickle as one of the most advanced countries on the panet, while there are mobile nuclear reactors in far flung remote countries far from civilisation supplying them with clean green nuclear power, Germany is belching out dirty thick coal smoke and fumy pollutants.
Germany is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century or it will be a country looking out at countries like Greenland where the Eskimos will be warming their toes on unlimited nuclear power with their mobile nuclear generators charging their electric snowmobiles and not hint of fossil fuel in site
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
Trillions of dollars spent over decades and they say: "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
Trillions of dollars have also been spent on nukes - and renewables now generate more electricity than nukes.

batteries not included
Plenty of examples of renewables plus storage now being cost competitive. Here is just one -https://www.fool....sto.aspx
This increases the cost to 8.2 cents per kWh for all solar projects, which is still competitive with coal and natural gas turbines.


So come on potty mouth - show us the cost curve on nukes. The cost curve on wind and solar is still going down. Come on Willie - Otto says you are good at looking things up....
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
+greenonions1 "There are other studies that find 100% renewables feasible"
Would you be so kind as to include them in your comments. I would also request that these studies do not call for the implementation of CCS, HEVE, CHP or other gas storage as this would require an increase in natural gas production, which is one the major reasons that I believe nuclear would be better suited for reducing GHGs in conjunction with renewables.

"Much depends on the speed of transition"
Ok, but keep in mind that the long this transition takes the more CO2 is going to be released into the atmosphere, which can elevate the climate risk exponentially over time leading to a greater economic cost. There is a reason why my nuclear argument is not including nuclear fusion...

Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
"We are now consistently looking at around 3 cents Kwh for utility scale projects - some even around 2 cents"
When your article makes statements like:

"The document details the specs of the six projects – which amount to a combined total of 1001MW, as you can see in the table below – all of which come in under $30/MWh over 25 year contracts."

- this is not a study about the average utility price for solar. The reason for my skepticism is due to the fact that the Lazard LCOE perspective study has photovoltaic solar at a low range of $43/MWh or $.043 per KWh. Now I have issues with the study, but at least it looks at more than a handful of solar projects to base the average utility price.

https://www.lazar...-110.pdf

My largest issue with the study and a major issue for most solar analysis in general is that it does not consider the cost of storage and replacement for intermittency.

Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
+greenonions1 "Hinkley Point - which is a project of EDF (probably the most experienced nuclear company in the world) - has a strike point of 12 cents Kwh"
Im not sure why you would ever think that Hinkley Plant is the pinnacle of nuclear technology or the base for new nuclear, when it is by far the most expensive nuclear plant under construction to date, and Canada is currently beginning permits for a Gen IV IMSR reactor with significantly more advanced technology.

Also how is EDF the most experienced, when they are not the oldest, nor have any commitments to GIF reactors?

In fact I find it rather odd you continue to only use this plant as an example for nuclear costs, when there is a plethora of studies which indicate the average cost for nuclear and several examples for Gen III reactors with a much lower cost. It almost seems as if you're purposefully using this specific reactor to misrepresent the cost of nuclear and persuade others to support your own opinion.
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
+gkam "I helped do studies on GE Mark I & II BWR Safety Relief Valves and their pressure spike problems."
I have significant doubts about the validity of this statement, considering the fact that in this same comment you claimed that Fukushima suffered a low grade nuclear explosion.

Nuclear explosions cannot occur at a nuclear reactor. It is literally impossible by the laws of physics to experience such a phenomena at a reactor. I highly doubt ANYONE would allow someone with a significant lack of understand atomic physics to help design safety relief valves for a nuclear reactor.

How do you fathom this would even occur? The explosion happened AFTER the reactor was shutdown. When a nuclear reactor is shutdown the control rods absorb excess neutrons necessary to split fissile materials. If there are no neutrons to bombard the fissile material, how on earth did a nuclear reaction take place, and how did the reaction not effect the reactor core where the material is held?
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2018
+greenonions1 You really need to start using some more credible sources if you want me to actually consider your information to be valid.

"Show us a cost curve on nukes for the past 50 years Willie. I'll show 40 years of solar" apparently based on: https://commons.w...1977.svg

Now I actually read the sources you provide unlike most people, which would be good, except that so far your sources have presented a lot of conflicting and problematic information. If you dive a bit deeper into your source the chart does use information from BNEF, but only from 1977 to 2013. The 2015 $.30/KWh cost comes from:

"based on average sales price of $0.30/W on 29 April 2015 from EnergyTrend.com"

First of all you don't measure cost per watt, and this estimate actually makes it appear that solar is extremely expensive. $.03/W is $3.00/KWh or 25 times as much as Hinkley. Secondly this is a price from a single day, not an average/yr.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2018
"considering the fact that in this same comment you claimed that Fukushima suffered a low grade nuclear explosion."

I did not say that, you inferred it. Second, we MAY have had secondary nuclear criticality when the MOX was compressed by the hydrogen explosion. This is not my supposition but by one in the business. Look at the differences in the explosions between Units 1 and 3.

They also found traces of Cobalt 60 on one of the other unaffected reactors. That is a conversion product from Iron with a high Neutron flux. We had what looked to be several criticalities since, determined from the products of fission.

If you want to go into detail, let's do it.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2018
"When a nuclear reactor is shutdown the control rods absorb excess neutrons necessary to split fissile materials."

Read that in a book? Go look at Fukushima, which is no book, but the real thing.

Scramming a reactor does not end the process, it reduces it. And the remaining heat is still there in those thousand-ton cores. After TMI III melted down, you could see the 5 Megawatts of decay heat from the rubble still making steam in one cooling tower for months.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2018
"My largest issue with the study and a major issue for most solar analysis in general is that it does not consider the cost of storage and replacement for intermittency."

Then why are the utilities not worried about it? You are looking for excuses. And there are none now. Wind plus storage is around 4 cents/kWh in the latest contracts.

Beat that with gas or coal, or (snicker), nukes.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
renewables now generate more electricity than nukes
"half of the renewables in the graph is biomass, which produces more CO2/kWh than coal!" "wood, charcoal, and dung" "feces is a more important energy source than wind power"
https://pbs.twimg...32nY.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...mazm.jpg
Plenty of examples of renewables plus storage now being cost competitive...
...Wind plus storage is around 4 cents/kWh...
Cite a practical example, a small city/island 100% powered by solar/wind+battery/storage.

Explain to future generations, "It was good for the economy."
Wind/solar farms have decarbonized almost nothing and most of them are already in the end of their lifetime.
https://pbs.twimg...oNV0.jpg
"Germany must prepare for "wind turbine decommissioning wave""
https://www.clean...ing-wave
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
...Fukushima ... TMI III melted down...
Notice: Fukushima and Three Mile Island have resulted in zero deaths from radiation exposure, while air pollution from fossil fuels(backup for intermittent renewables) kills millions of people every year. Nuclear is the safest per unit of energy produced even including Chernobyl worst-case scenario. It has caused fewer fatalities and less ecological impacts than wind and solar.
http://cdn.ebaums...deat.jpg

Carbon-free nuclear energy is so superior in all respects, and intermittent renewables are so inferior, that renewable cultists have no option except to use scare tactics, which ends favoring even more coal/oil/gas because wind/solar are a joke, a scam, a fraud, just decorative facades for the fossil fuel industry, unable to replace fossil fuels even in small scale.
gkam
1 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2018
Willie is left talking to himself.
Anonym662145
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2018
+gkam "I did not say that you inferred it." Really? So your delusional profile didn't actually just type: "I know Unit Three at Fukushima was burning MOX, and we probably had a low grade nuclear explosion."? Really hard to disprove, when I can just quote your comments...

"Look at the differences in the explosions". Well considering the fact that the plant is even there I can safely say that no nuclear explosion occurred. It takes just 2kg of Pu-239 to make a significant nuclear weapon, which would have annihilated the entire plant and the nearby community. When I say annihilate, I mean wiped off the face of the planet. The fuel in these reactors contained enough plutonium for multiple nuclear bombs, yet the explosions seen are not even remotely similar to that of a nuclear explosion.

How about you explain how you possibly think a nuclear explosion occurred in a nuclear reactor?
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
+gkam "They also found traces of Cobalt 60 on one of the other unaffected reactors. That is a conversion product from Iron with a high Neutron flux. We had what looked to be several criticalities since, determined from the products of fission."

Ok and you concluded that this meant Cobalt 60 had to come from a nuclear explosion? How about the more likely choice that Cobalt 59 experiences neutron absorption during normal operation of a nuclear reactor and thus transmutes into Cobalt 60 in small amounts.
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
+gkam "Read that in a book? Go look at Fukushima, which is no book, but the real thing."
So let me get this straight. You think that atomic physics nor nuclear engineering was used for constructing Fukushima? What I described is the necessary function to facilitate and reduce nuclear reactions in literally every reactor on the planet today. This is not debateable, its a fact of the design of a reactor.

"And the remaining heat is still there in those thousand-ton cores"
Just because you have decay heat does not mean that fission reactions are occurring. In order to have fission you have ensure that fissile material is split by neutrons. Decay heat is simply the energy released from the decay of radioactive isotopes. These decays do not necessarily indicate the release of independent neutrons.
Next time actually read a book on atomic physics....
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
Inserting the control rods does not stop all fission.
Babble away, but you are shooting at the wrong person. I relayed the views of nuclear professionals, not mine - I was not there taking measurements.

The issue of Unit Three effects came from nuclear professionals, and their report said the Cobalt was on the outside surface of the reactor containment facing Unit Three.

Listen, Toots, I know how reactors and powerplants work. I know the differences between RBMK, PWR, BWR, liquid metal and gas-cooled reactors and the weaknesses of each. I understand the problem with the actinides produced in reactors and our inability to even store them safely. Save the high-school physics lesson.

We had Plutonium in Unit Three and we got a huge Neutron flux. From where did it come?
What happened to the robots sent into the destroyed containments?

So many questions, . . .
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
It will take at least 40 years to "clean up" Fukushima. That is TWO GENERATIONS of their best scientists, engineers, managers and workers. TWO! Just to "clean up" a mess, which means moving it to somewhere else, to contaminate that place, too.

We cannot afford another nuclear plant.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2018
"Decay heat is simply the energy released from the decay of radioactive isotopes. These decays do not necessarily indicate the release of independent neutrons."

Oh my, . . once again, . . . listen to your own advice and look up the products of Uranium decay and the Neutrons emitted.
Anonym662145
3 / 5 (2) 22 hours ago
+gkam "The issue of Unit Three effects came from nuclear professionals, and their report said the Cobalt was on the outside surface of the reactor containment facing Unit Three"
I would love to see the exact studies where these "nuclear professionals" actually claim that a nuclear explosion occurred in Boiling Water Reactor. Honestly they should get the Nobel Prize for physics, because they would literally be rewriting the laws of nuclear science.

You claim that your argument is valid and that your information is credible, yet this is now the second time you have refused to explicitly explain how this would possibly occur.
Anonym662145
5 / 5 (1) 22 hours ago
+gkam "Oh my, . . once again, . . . listen to your own advice and look up the products of Uranium decay and the Neutrons emitted."

You're really not helping yourself. You honestly think that nuclear fission reactions came from the decay of uranium? You do realize the decay rate for Uranium 235 is over 700 million years and Uranium 238's is over 4 billion years. Do you have any idea how slow of a decay that is, when you need the exact polar opposite continuously in less than a second to create runaway chain reaction necessary for a nuclear explosion?

Furthermore, you clearly did not pick up on "independent neutrons". Uranium experiences alpha decay, which is NOT just neutrons, in fact its two protons and two neutrons combined or a helium nucleus. You can't split a Uranium atom with alpha decay.

gkam
3 / 5 (2) 16 hours ago
"I would love to see the exact studies where these "nuclear professionals" actually claim that a nuclear explosion occurred in Boiling Water Reactor."

There was no longer a boiling water reactor, but an incandescent pit of seething radioactivity and molten remains of fuel rods and core supports. They think the hydrogen explosions compressed the mass and created a small criticality which blew it up.

I suggest you look into the design of nuclear weapons (such as the W-87), and the use of their components such as Neutron reflectors and tampers and Krytrons to achieve and continue fission which drives the fusion which drive the fission. Without exacting precision the fission blows itself out by separating the components.

The shock wave of the H2 explosion did it.

They had several other small criticalities in the days after the explosion, as detected by Neutron flux and vented gases.
WillieWard
1 / 5 (2) 4 hours ago
It will take at least 40 years to "clean up" Fukushima.
"Fukushima Diaries The picture painted by anti-#nuclear fear mongers does not match reality. Visit Fukushima with these three witnesses."
https://www.youtu...l_MaRngI
https://www.youtu...gLGA5TpM
"What happened to the radiation that was supposed to last thousands of years in Hiroshima (1945)?" It is equal to natural background level. Japan subjected to Fukushima, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, breaks record for longevity.
https://www.quora...Hardwick
"World's Most Exotic Tourism Destination? Chernobyl"
https://www.youtu...5fjy3jCI
https://www.never...0_n.jpeg

"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power."
greenonions1
not rated yet 3 minutes ago
Anonym
In fact I find it rather odd you continue to only use this plant as an example for nuclear costs
Because it is a real world example - that gives us access to real world numbers. If you can show us other contracts that have different numbers - please provide links. I am talking new build.

First of all you don't measure cost per watt
Yes you do. When looking at the drop in cost of solar panels - it is very common to talk cost per watt (total cost of panel - divided by rated wattage). If you have a problem with my source - please feel free to supply your own link to the cost curve of solar panels over the past 40 years. I think you will find that it will support the notion that the costs have dropped dramatically.

I am waiting for potty mouth to supply a cost curve on nukes. Perhaps you could help him out.

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